I wanted to talk to you today about the issues I’m seeing in my community and what steps I want to take to improve our education system as your state representative.
We have real issues in the district in regards with education, and I wanted to go over a few quick points to explain why this is so important to me. According to the last demographic report released by the Utah State House, 27% of adults over the age of 25 in my district have no high school diploma, compared to the 9% of adults over the age of 25 across the state. Our district also has half the bachelor's degrees compared to the state average. Improving on these numbers offers students a path to success that extends far beyond the classroom.
While this pandemic has exposed the inequities our community faces, it has also highlighted the incredible work and value our teachers provide our children. Teachers have an integral role for students beyond educating; teachers are frequently an additional barrier of protection for students by identifying cases of domestic violence or child abuse. And with domestic violence on the rise since the rise of COVID-19, it's clear these teachers are heroes. These teachers work long hours already and have done such an amazing job of transitioning to distance learning, and I want to make sure we are going to look out for them during these uncertain times.
Collaborating with teachers, educators, and organizations like the UEA for good policy is exactly what I want to do in the state house when I am elected. What we need to do is think about what we are going to see down the road as we approach the next legislative session. We have seen numerous articles from the Deseret news and Salt Lake Tribune about proposed cuts to the education budget in the legislature. Such cuts would be detrimental to so many children, and especially to students of color who rely on public education at a much higher rate.
In conclusion, I will fight to make sure our teachers are given the pay they deserve, I will colaborate with educators and organizations to find equitable solutions to the issues in our education system, and I will fight vehemently against cutting our Education budget when I am elected to the Utah State House of Representatives. With our students already having a harder time, don't you think we need a legislator who will fight for our students and our teachers? The issues our kids are facing are too important for us to leave in the hands of someone who isn't fully invested in our community, and I'm excited to step up to fight for a better future for all of our kids!